More pharmaceutical companies are moving away from traditional paper reprints and are arming their sales force with digital ePrints as a tool for communicating brand information to physicians. The pharmaceutical industry is beginning to lean heavily on digital vehicles such as iPads, smartphones, and other mobile devices because of their ease of use, connectivity, elegant display, lightweight mobility, and versatility. Some are calling it a “virtual briefcase” for sales representatives.
This shift is drastically impacting the reprint business model that had been in existence for decades. Working closely with various medical publishers and pharmaceutical companies, we have witnessed challenges relating to this transition. Notably, we are challenged with the ability to balance the accessibility needs of users with the controls for protecting copyrighted materials.
These market shifts have created challenges for both pharmaceutical companies and medical publishers. We have seen a rapid adoption of the iPad and desire for digital content within our client base.
At the heart of this challenge is increasing demand around measurement— to be able to track content usage and also have the flexibility to add other digital components, product inserts, disclaimers and Dear Doctor letters to a file without encroaching the actual files.
Pharmaceutical clients and medical publishers alike have different perspectives that they must consider in this new paradigm shift.
Pharmaceutical clients need to know:
- How to purchase content on an “as needed basis”
- How to deploy ePrints and other content to iPads
- How to manage the other “digital assets” that accompany ePrints such as product inserts, disclaimers and Dear Doctor letters
- How to capture ROI
Publishers need to know:
- How to protect content
- How to track content usage
- How to monetize content at fair market value
Though the reprint landscape is still in change mode, we at Compas believe that there are tremendous opportunities for both publishers and pharma marketers in this inevitable changing environment.
Both publishers and pharma marketers must work together to lend support from both sides through this change. Although we feel that print is here to stay, iPads and other mobile devices have given sales forces more tools to connect to prescribers, and the demand for complementary resources of value is high.